GIGABYTE Server Newsletter - September 2018 Edition 

In this newsletter:

1) NEW PRODUCTS: GIGABYTE Brings ARM to the Server World with First ThunderX2 Rack Servers Now Available
2) NEW PRODUCTS: GIGABYTE Launches Three New Xeon W Basin Falls Motherboards for Cloud & Web Hosting

1. GIGABYTE Brings ARM to the Server World with First ThunderX2 Systems


GIGABYTE is bringing ARM to the server world with the official release of our first Cavium ThunderX2 based server systems: the 1U dual socket R181-T90, and the 2U dual socket R281-T91.

The ThunderX2 is a 64-bit ARM CPU with a completely new architecture to the ThunderX, and presents a genuine alternative to x86 for mainstream data center deployment. The ThunderX2 features up to 32 fully out-of-order cores and 128 threads per socket, single and dual socket configurations, up to 2.5Ghz clock speed or up to 3Ghz with turbo mode, 8 channels of DDR4 memory and 56 Gen. 3 PCIe lanes. These features translate into compute performance that is on par with x86 for many typical workloads in cloud, HPC, storage and networking applications. 

The R181-T90 and R281-T91 both feature dual BGA socket ThunderX2 CN9975-2000 processors, with 28 cores and 2.0 GHz clock speed performance. The CN9975-2000 was chosen as the standard ThunderX2 SKU for GIGABYTE's launch systems due to its immediate availability and an excellent price / performance ratio that appeals to the broadest range of cloud and HPC customers. GIGABYTE is also planning to soon offer these models with the higher end ThunderX2 CN9980-2200 (32 cores, 2.2 GHz clock speed) and CN9975-2200 (28 cores, 2.2 GHz clock speed) once customer demand has reached the threshold for production. Memory wise, both R181-T90 and R281-T91 feature 24 x DIMM slots for up to 3.072TB of memory capacity.

The R181-T90 features 10 x 2.5” hot swap SATA / SAS HDD bays, 3 x low profile (1 x PCIe 3.0 x 16 + 2 x PCIe 3.0 x 8) expansion slots and 2 x OCP mezzanine expansion slots (PCIe 3.0 x 16). Naturally, the 2U R281-T91 features more storage and expansion capacity than its 1U cousin, with 26 x 2.5” (24 x 2.5” front + 2 x 2.5” rear) hot swap SATA / SAS HDD bays, and 8 x full height half length (FHHL) PCIe expansion slots: two sets of (3 x PCIe 3.0 x8) or (1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 + 1 x PCIe 3.0 x8), and one set of (1 x PCIe 3.0 x 16) or (2 x PCIe 3.0 x8), as well as 2 x OCP mezzanine slots (PCIe 3.0 x16), for additional networking and storage expansion or other accessory cards.

Networking wise, both systems feature an onboard QLogic QL41102 controller for dual 10G SFP+ networking ports, as well as a dedicated MLAN port. Remote management can be performed with the onboard Aspeed AST2500 BMC and using GIGABYTE’s GSM (GIGABYTE Server Management) software. For efficient cooling, the R181-T90 features a row of 8 x (40 x 40mm) easy swap fans, while the R281-T91 features 4 x (80 x 80mm) hot swap fans. Power wise, both systems feature dual 1200W 80 PLUS Platinum power supply units for a 1 + 1 redundancy, and also include other high availability and user friendly features common to GIGABYTE server products, such as tool-less rail kits.
2. GIGABYTE Launches Three New Xeon W Basin Falls Motherboards

GIGABYTE has launched three new motherboards based on Intel's single socket Xeon W "Basin Falls" platform: MF51-ES0, MF51-ES1 and MF51-ES2.

The Xeon W Basin Falls CPU platform features up to 18 cores / 36 threads, up to 4.0GHz clock speed (or 4.5GHz with Intel Turbo Boost technology), up to 4 channels of DDR4 2666 Mhz memory support, and 48 PCIe Gen 3 lanes (+ 16 from the PCH).

Described by Intel as "performance optimized for mainstream workstations", the Xeon W is also attractive for enterprises looking for a single socket platform for applications such as cloud and web hosting that is more economical than the dual socket Xeon Scalable series while still more powerful than the entry-level Xeon E series. GIGABYTE had launched our first Xeon W based MW51-HP0 motherboard aimed at workstation users in August 2017, coinciding with Intel's official release of the Xeon W platform. However, these three new motherboards, triggered by customer demand, are aimed at users who want to use the Xeon W in the server room rather than the office: they feature a server friendly board layout as well as an Aspeed AST2500 BMC chip for remote IPMI management.

All three motherboards feature an M.2 port (PCIe Gen3 x4), 2 x SilmSAS ports (PCIe Gen3 x4) for U.2 storage devices, and 8 x SATA III 6Gb/s ports to provide a range of storage device options, as well as an additional 3 x PCIe x16 (Gen3 x16 x 2) + (Gen3 x 8) expansion slots. Their difference lies in network connectivity: the top of the range MF51-ES0 features 2 x 10Gb/s BASE-T LAN ports and 2 x GbE LAN ports, the mid-range MF51-ES1 features 4 x GbE LAN ports, while the economical MF51-ES2 features 2 x GbE LAN ports.
GIGABYTE is one of the world's leading consumer computer hardware brands. Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, GIGABYTE started as a research and development team and has since taken the lead in the world's motherboard and graphics card markets, and has a product portfolio that includes laptops, desktops, PC peripherals and PC components. Everyday GIGABYTE aims to “Upgrade Your Life” with innovative technology, exceptional quality, and unmatched customer service.

GIGABYTE Server is the enterprise hardware division of GIGABYTE. Beginning our operations in the year 2000, our product portfolio includes server and workstation motherboards, rack server systems, tower server systems and accessories as well as embedded computing solutions. Our products are used by many of the world's leading IT companies in data centers worldwide.

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